An Assyrian star map

The badly damaged Assyrian clay disc below (K 8538) is an interesting relic of ancient astronomy. It was held in the Library of Ashurbanipal, 2600 years ago. Today it is in the British Museum, where I was fortunate enough to see it once. The disc maps the sky as eight 45° sections and has annotations in cuneiform (both names and numbers). In the view shown here, the constellation Orion is superimposed on the disc’s own crude figure (which could also represent the constellation Gemini):

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